NLRG was formed in 1957 to help in the study of birds in the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society area. There are currently 12 active ringers. Species currently being studied include: Pied Flycatcher, Bearded Tit, Sand Martin, Twite, Goosander, Oystercatcher and Grey Wagtail. Migration has been studied for 28 years at Heysham. We welcome anyone who wants to observe, help or perhaps wish to become a ringer. Photo: A Heysham-ringed Twite on the Mull of Kintyre (thanks to Eddie Maguire)

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Warbler Update

I always find it interesting to compare ringing totals with the previous years as with similar effort from year to year they give an indication of productivity. To early to do this for most species but  with all the data in it is possible to look at warbler trends in this year which saw  poor weather early in the breeding season but better weather later.

Blackcap at 116 is just slightly up on both 2012 (102) and the five year average of 97. Chiffchaff at  180 has a similar trend, up on 2012(159). The species which has seen the greatest decline though is Willow Warbler with 349 ringed this year compared with 510 in 2012 and a five year average of 476.  This fits in well with the general feeling that the breeding population was down this year. On the surveyed part of Warton Crag the breeding population was down from 29 pairs in 2012 to 21 this year. By contrast Whitethroat were up from  just 70 in 2012 to 173 this year as were Lesser Whitethroat from 30 last year to 48 this year.

Two other species which several members of the group have commented on as being scarce this autumn are Long-tailed Tit and Goldcrest. So far this autumn we have caught only 37 Long tails compared with 108 in 2012 and 27 Goldcrest compared with 184 in 2012 but there is still time for these to appear.


1 comment:

Pete Marsh said...

The autumn passage of Willow Warbler has been inexplicably dreadful this year e.g. also at Walney suggesting that the Scottish breeding birds did really badly but why? Or did they just "jump overhead" during the rather good migration weather for large chunks of the early autumn?. Would be interesting to see breeding season assessments from Scotland. Blackcaps really poor at Heysham - both breeding birds and passage